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Losing one's only child is a major traumatic life event that may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); however, the underlying mechanisms of its psychological consequences remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated subregional hippocampal functional connectivity (FC) networks based on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging and the deoxyribonucleic acid methylation of the human glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) in adults who had lost their only child.
A total of 144 Han Chinese adults who had lost their only child (51 adults with PTSD and 93 non-PTSD adults [trauma-exposed controls]) and 50 controls without trauma exposure were included in this fMRI study (age: 40–67 years). FCs between hippocampal subdivisions (four regions in each hemisphere: cornu ammonis1 [CA1], CA2, CA3, and dentate gyrus [DG]) and methylation levels of the NR3C1 gene were compared among the three groups.
Trauma-exposed adults, regardless of PTSD diagnosis, had weaker positive FC between the left hippocampal CA1, left DG, and the posterior cingulate cortex, and weaker negative FC between the right CA1, right DG, and several frontal gyri, relative to healthy controls. Compared to non-PTSD adults, PTSD adults showed decreased negative FC between the right CA1 region and the right middle/inferior frontal gyri (MFG/IFG), and decreased negative FC between the right DG and the right superior frontal gyrus and left MFG. Both trauma-exposed groups showed lower methylation levels of the NR3C1 gene.
Adults who had lost their only child may experience disrupted hippocampal network connectivity and NR3C1 methylation status, regardless of whether they have developed PTSD.
Whether there are distinct subtypes of schizophrenia is an important issue to advance understanding and treatment of schizophrenia.
To understand and treat individuals with schizophrenia, the aim was to advance understanding of differences between individuals, whether there are discrete subtypes, and how fist-episode patients (FEP) may differ from multiple episode patients (MEP).
These issues were analysed in 687 FEP and 1880 MEP with schizophrenia using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for (PANSS) schizophrenia before and after antipsychotic medication for 6 weeks.
The seven Negative Symptoms were correlated with each other and with P2 (conceptual disorganisation), G13 (disturbance of volition), and G7 (motor retardation). The main difference between individuals was in the cluster of seven negative symptoms, which had a continuous unimodal distribution. Medication decreased the PANSS scores for all the symptoms, which were similar in the FEP and MEP groups.
The negative symptoms are a major source of individual differences, and there are potential implications for treatment.
Objective: Functional imaging studies of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have shown an increased activation of posterior cingulate gyrus (PCG) of the brain. The aim of this study was to explore white matter integrity of PCG in PTSD subjects.
Methods: White matter integrity, as determined from fractional anisotropy (FA) value using diffusion tensor imaging, was assessed for PCG in subjects with and without PTSD from a severe mine accident. All subjects were also measured by the PTSD Checklist Civilian Version (PCL-C), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the logical memory subtest and the visual reproduction subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised in China. Sixteen PTSD subjects (8 subjects in each group) in the longitudinal study and 13 PTSD subjects as well as 14 non-PTSD controls in the cross-sectional case–control study were respectively recruited.
Results: In the longitudinal study, subjects with PTSD showed increased FA values in left PCG during the follow-up scan. In the cross-sectional study, FA values in bilateral PCG in PTSD subjects were higher than controls. Within the PTSD group (n = 13), FA values in the left PCG correlated positively with logical memory and negatively with PCL-C intrusion and STAI-trait (STAI-t) subscores. FA values in right PCG correlated negatively with STAI-t and STAI-state subscores.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that alterations of white matter integrity in PCG link to mnemonic and affective processing in PTSD over the long-term follow-up period.
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